A Guide to Claiming For Damp – How To Claim Compensation For Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp compensation claims

Penetrating damp compensation claims

Are you concerned that penetrating damp and mould in your rented property has caused you to suffer harm to your health or it has caused you financial woes as your personal belongings have been damaged by damp and/or mould? Whether you were in a council or privately rented property, if damp or mould has caused you problems in terms of your health or your finances, you may be able to claim for compensation. This guide aims to explain how that could happen and what you may need to know about making compensation claims.

If it was proved that the damp or mould was caused by disrepair within your rental property, and your landlord had failed to respond to your reports of such disrepair, then they may have been negligent in their duty to keep your property in a good state of repair. This could leave them liable to pay you compensation.

We hope you find the information in the sections below helpful when it comes to working out whether you could make a claim, but if any point within this guide requires clarification, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0800 073 8801. Not only could we provide you with advice, but we could also provide a solicitor working on a no win no fee basis who could help to launch your claim.

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A Guide To Claims For Penetrating Damp And Mould

Have you suffered ill health because of penetrating damp or mould? Has damp or mould damaged or destroyed your possessions? Has it cost you money to replace such items? And more importantly, was your landlord at fault for the harm you’ve suffered due to damp and mould? If you could prove that a landlord had been negligent in their responsibilities towards you as a tenant with regards to damp or mould, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation for any harm you’ve suffered because of it. Throughout this guide, we’ll go over the types of damp that could be present within a rental property, and we’ll talk about your landlord’s responsibilities to fix disrepair within their property/ies. We’ll also go through situations that may lead you to look for a personal injury lawyer to help with a damp or mould claim, and the types of compensation you may be able to claim.

What Is Damp, Penetrating Damp And Mould?

Damp is, essentially water/moisture that exists within a property. Damp could be caused by condensation from inside a property where moisture cannot escape, or it could be caused by moisture entering the property from the outside.

Penetrating damp is damp that enters a property (penetrates it) from the outside. It could happen for a variety of reasons, as we will discuss below, but it could lead to mould developing and spreading throughout a property.

Does Penetrating Damp Cause Mould All The Time?

If the damp is caught swiftly and treated, the spread of mould may be less likely.

Is Damp Dangerous?

In terms of whether it could pose a threat to the good health of a tenant, then damp could be considered harmful. However, it may not be considered dangerous, as effects of a mould allergy or respiratory problems could usually be treated.

What Are The Causes Of Penetrating Damp?

There could be various causes of penetrating damp. It could occur because of:

  • A leaking roof
  • A broken gutter
  • Defective plumbing systems
  • Masonry cracks
  • Faulty water management systems
  • Failed water management systems
  • Increased ground levels surrounding the exterior walls of the property

Preventing Penetrating Damp And Moulds

Preventing penetrating damp might involve some or all of the following actions by a tenant:

  • Opening bedroom windows regularly once you are up in the morning, for around 5-10 mins
  • Drying clothing outdoors or using a tumble drier that is vented
  • Leaving gaps between external walls and furniture
  • Closing the internal doors of the property when showering or cooking
  • Using the extractor fans within the bathrooms and kitchen
  • Putting covers on pans when cooking

Preventing penetrating damp might involve some or all of the following actions by a landlord:

  • Carry out prompt repairs on leaking pipes
  • Fix broken heating systems quickly
  • Ensure there is adequate ventilation within the property
  • Replace or repair missing or cracked roof tiles
  • Make swift repairs to cracks in walls or rotten frames for windows

Penetrating Damp Symptoms

Usually, one of the first signs that a property has penetrating damp could be a patch of damp on the ceiling or wall of a property. There may be a musty kind of smell that goes along with this. In some cases, if the damp is coming in through a hidden area, the first sign of it might be mould, and this could spread quite rapidly through a property. In some cases, damp could be spotted from the outside of a property, particularly where there are missing roof tiles, but in many cases, it may be spotted internally first.

How Do I Get Rid Of Penetrating Damp?

Initially, in order to treat penetrating damp, the root cause should be identified and resolved. For example, if you have penetrating damp from a brick wall, you may need a builder to resolve the brickwork, whereas if it is guttering or broken roof tiles, other tradespeople may be required to fix the external problem that is causing the penetrating damp.

After this is done, the damp inside the property will need to be dried out. Then further repairs, if required, can begin. Depending on how serious a case of penetrating damp is, there might be a number of different works that need to be done. Rooms may need to be replastered, woodwork may need to be replaced and more. In some cases, a survey might need to be carried out and damp proofing may need to be done.

Is Damp A Landlord’s Responsibility?

If you’re wondering ‘Is damp a landlord’s responsibility?’ the answer may not be as simple as saying yes or no.

There could be confusion about the responsibilities and tenants’ rights in damp properties. This is because there are different reasons that there might be damp or mould within a property.

For example, rising damp or penetrating damp may be the landlord’s responsibility because they are responsible for the structural maintenance of a property that they rent out.

However, there is a big difference between penetrating damp and condensation, and that is the fact that condensation could actually be caused by a tenant’s lifestyle, if they hang washing inside the house, cook often without ventilation, have a lot of showers, or boil a lot of water. However, it could also be argued that if a property has poor ventilation, this may lead to damp caused by condensation.

When it comes to repairing damp within a property, even damp caused by condensation, it could be argued that this falls under the landlord’s obligations as if condensation is a big issue, and mould is forming, then it may be considered to be a structural issue.

If you have further questions about whose responsibility a certain type of damp is, or if you’d like to make a penetrating damp claim, then we could help. Simply call our team and we’ll let you know whether your landlord could be responsible for fixing damp, and if they haven’t done so, we could also provide you with a personal injury solicitor to help you make a claim if an illness has arisen from untreated damp or mould.

Could I Withhold Rent From My Landlord?

You may be wondering what a tenant’s rights for damp properties would be, and you might wonder whether, if a property was in disrepair, you could withhold some or all of your rent. While in many cases, you as a tenant have a responsibility to adhere to your tenancy contract, there are some exceptions that may mean you could withhold rent in some circumstances under the rule of ‘set off’. This rule means that if a tenant reports structural disrepair to the property and the landlord does not arrange repair either by delay or refusal, the tenant could follow a certain procedure to arrange for repairs themselves and deduct the repair costs from the rent they pay to the landlord.

The only repair costs that could be covered by this set off rule are listed in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, under section 11.

Can You Sue Your Landlord For Damp?

If you’re asking can you claim compensation for mould or penetrating damp, then the answer would depend on a few factors.

Firstly, it may be necessary to work out who could be at fault for the mould or damp. It could be tricky to prove that damp caused by condensation was a landlord’s fault in some cases particularly when it may be difficult to answer the question of whether it was poor ventilation or the tenant’s actions that caused the condensation to occur. If there is some doubt about whose fault the mould or damp is, then it could be likely that you would need the property inspecting by an independent party to try and ascertain who was at fault. In some cases, the tenant’s lifestyle might lead to damp caused by condensation, whereas in others, the landlord may have avoided the issue of damp if the property had better ventilation.

What Illnesses And Complications Could Be Caused By Penetrating Damp And Mould?

Unfortunately, penetrating damp and mould could cause issues to your health and to your belongings. In terms of your belongings, it could cause them to become ruined, and you may have to replace them or repair them if a repair is possible.

When it comes to your health, there are several problems that could be caused by penetrating damp and mould. These could include:

  • Respiratory illness
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • A weakened immune system
  • Skin rash
  • Respiratory infection
  • And more…

This is because penetrating damp could cause mould. Mould produces some allergens, that could cause people to have an allergic reaction. This reaction could produce a number of symptoms, including red eyes, skin rashes, runny nose and sneezing, for example.

There are some people who may be more sensitive to damp and mould. These could include:

  • Young children
  • Babies
  • The elderly
  • Those who suffer eczema or other skin conditions
  • Those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory illnesses
  • Those with allergies
  • Those who have an immune system that is already weakened

If you have experienced illness or worsening of pre-existing illnesses because of penetrating damp or mould, and you can prove this, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim against your landlord if they had failed to do anything about the damp and mould.

It would be prudent to mention here that there would be a time limit for claiming. There are some exceptions to the time limit, however, so if you’re unsure of how long you’d have to claim, do get in touch and we’ll clarify your position for you.

Penetrating Damp Personal Injury Claims Calculator

Whether you’ve experienced damp in a rental property that was rented out by the council or by a private landlord, if they are deemed to be negligent in keeping your property in a liveable state, and you are injured, the compensation amounts you’d be looking to receive could differ wildly, depending on the illness you’ve suffered. Below, we offer a table of Judicial College Guideline payout amounts for specific illnesses that could relate to a penetrating damp claim. These are offered as an alternative to a personal injury claims calculator that you might find on another site. It could give you a quick approximation of how much your housing disrepair claim could be worth in general damages.

If you haven’t seen your illness in the table below, please call us. We’ll go through the specifics of what’s happened to you and take a look at an approximation of what your claim could be worth.

Illness/InjuryNotesPayout bracket
Dermatitis (Both hands)Soreness, cracking, and discomfort, which may lead to psychological effects which may last for some time. Domestic and employment capabilities would be affected too.£12,900 to £18,020
DermatitisOne or both hands – affecting the claimant for a significant amount of time but use of gloves and treatment may be effective in settling the condition£8,110 to £10,710
AsthmaSevere with permanent disablement. Regular coughing leading to disturbed sleep, and inability to fully enjoy life. Work would be severely restricted£40,410 to £61,710
AsthmaChronic asthma that causes difficulties in breathing, the need to use an inhaler from time to time, and restriction of employment prospects.£24,680 to £40,370
Bronchitis and WheezingAffecting work/social life but substantial recovery over a few years£18,020 to £24,680
AsthmaMild, often caused by inhalation of irritating vapours£9,990 to £18,020

Other Damages Which Could Be Awarded For Penetrating Damp

Alongside the amount of money deemed appropriate to compensate you for any illness you might have suffered because of penetrating damp, you may wish to claim for any personal or financial losses that arise directly from the damp/mould and the illness you may have suffered because of it.

We mentioned earlier that penetrating damp could cause damage to your personal property. If it has, and you have had to repair or replace items, then the costs for doing so could form part of your compensation claim. In addition to this, you may also be able to claim for other costs, including:

Medical expenses – Have you had to pay out for your prescriptions, parking at the hospital or transport to the hospital? If so, it might be wise to keep proof of such costs so that you could claim for them.

Travel expenses – Whether you’ve had to pay parking charges, taxi fares or other transport costs, if they have arisen directly because of your claim, or your illness, then you could claim for these too.

Loss of earnings – If you were off work while you were suffering from the effects of penetrating damp or mould and you lost out on income, you could claim for this too.

Care costs – Whether you had to pay for childcare while you were recovering from your illness, or you needed someone to care for you at home, care costs could be included as part of your claim.

If you’ve incurred a cost not mentioned here, you could always call us to see if it could be included within claims for compensation for damp and mould.

No Win No Fee Compensation Claims Against Landlords For Penetrating Damp

If you make a penetrating damp compensation claim, it may be beneficial to do so with the assistance of a lawyer. While this may be your first experience with the law, an experienced solicitor would have the capabilities to put together a strong case for compensation if you have been harmed in some way by penetrating damp and/or mould. Retaining the services of a solicitor would not require you to pay out any money upfront. Lawyers that work on a no win no fee basis, like those we work with here at Accident Claims, do not require payment of their ‘success fee’ (the percentage of your settlement agreed on prior to your case commencing) until such time as compensation has been paid out. If your lawyer doesn’t secure you a payment for a valid claim, then you would not have to pay this fee at all.

To learn more about how no win no fee agreements work, and why the government has put a cap on solicitor’s fees of 25%, you could call our knowledgeable advisors. We’d be happy to answer any queries you may have about the process.

How Our Team Could Help Tenants Claim Compensation From A Landlord

Here at Accident Claims UK, we have a wealth of experience in dealing with lots of different kinds of compensation claims. Our friendly, professional advisors have heard from many different claimants in many different positions, and we work hard to ensure that we answer all queries swiftly, professionally and clearly, so you will always know where you stand. When you call us and talk to us about your situation, we’ll take some details in order to ascertain whether your claim could make you eligible for compensation. If we think your case could result in a settlement, we could offer to provide you with a solicitor to help you further with your claim. All of the solicitors we work with work on a no win no fee basis.

Even if you’re not ready to claim or you’re not sure whether you have a claim, do get in touch, we’ll happily answer any questions you have in a clear, jargon-free manner, and we don’t charge you for advice either. There’s no obligation to use our services, we just want you to know what options you have.

Start My Penetrating Damp And Mould Claim

Do you now feel that you would like to make a claim, or would you like more advice? Either way, you can reach us in any one of the following ways and we’ll be happy to help you.

By telephone: 0800 073 8801

Via email: office@accidentclaims.co.uk

Or, if you prefer, you could fill in the contact form or use the live chat feature here on the site. However and whenever you choose to get in touch, we’ll be glad to help you.

Essential Resources

Council Claims – Here is our guide to making claims against a local authority.

Housing Disrepair – Our guidance on housing disrepair claims can be found here.

Claiming With A Pre Existing Condition – If you already had asthma or another condition and it was made worse, then this guide may be of use.

Tenants Resources And Medical References

NHS Reference On Damp And Mould – Here, you can read what the NHS has to say about the effects of damp/mould on health.

Shelter – Damp And Mould – Shelter, a UK charity, offer advice on damp and mould in properties.

Article by JJ

Edited by MM.